Please tell me everything you know about WashU

<p>Washington University in St. Louis, of course. </p>

<p>I'm especially interested in stuff I won't find in brochures and websites. I haven't visited yet, but I might do so over Thanksgiving break. Thanks.</p>

<p>You ought to go to the Colleges forum and post this on the Washu site. It's a better place to reach current students. I can give one parent's perspective, but I am not the one attending and I hear pretty much only happy-news from the individual who is. But I'll give it a shot:</p>

<li><p>The campus is very attractive, with green quads and impressive architecture. It is centrally and sensibly laid out, with most of the on-campus housing at one end and the academic buildings a bike ride (or in S's case, a longboard (skate) ride away). There is a system of shuttles as well. No major streets run through the campus to bifurcate it so it has a self-contained "bubble" aspect, although the art school building is a bit north of the main campus and the medical school is also separate, though nearby. </p>

<li> Housing is varied and very nice, well run, though somewhat bureaucratic irt to arranging one's roommate situation and placement following freshman year. You can check out the housing options on line. There's something of a residential college set up, but it's not enough to accommodate all students so there's a lottery and not everyone gets that arrangement. It depends on putting together a group and the combined lottery numbers of the group. (Do not ask follow up questions, please, as I won't be of any help.)</li>

<p>There's an interesting coop version --- run the place, cook for the group, grow the food, etc. There's some upperclass housing pegged to themes/ groups the students themselves select. Freshman living experiences are well orchestrated with many fun bonding type activities. </p>

<li><p>Humanities classes are small and allow for close contact with professors. My S as a soph was offered a paid position helping one of his professors with research on a book. He is very happy with his classes and instructors. From what I read in the WU forum, students in the more demanding academic programs --- premed, engineering --- work very hard. But the attitude is more cooperative than cutthroat. My impression is that academic standards are high, but that it is not the culture of the college for students to be in the library on a Friday night with the campus as quiet as a graveyard so everyone can get their work done. Fun does not go there to die, in other words. </p></li>
<li><p>Considerable support exists for students who need assistance, mentoring. For example: [url=<a href=""&gt;]Cornerstone[/url&lt;/a&gt;] A student I had PM'd to ask about the chemistry program (S2 is interested) wrote back to rave about the friendly, cohesive spirit compared to his other college (he was a transfer) and to inform me that while the chem classes were difficult, challenging, etc., the university made bend-over-backwards effort to help students succeed. Advising seems to be very good, there's plenty of career guidance, and the communication with both students and parents is hard to ignore. </p></li>
<li><p>The campuswide food is very good, top notch. </p></li>
<li><p>Sports are available for athletes to pursue, but they do not define the culture of the university. Pretty far from it. No Big Ten hoopla, marching bands, massive tailgating crowds. It's not that kind of vibe. Club sports seem popular, particularly Ultimate Frisbee and rugby. There's student theater, improv comedy, a'cappella, all that stuff. It's a medium sized university with not just premeds and CS-engineering students, but also those pursuing art, architecture, anthropology, English, foreign language, comp lit, political science, etc. </p></li>
<li><p>There is a Greek scene, and about 20 percent of the 7,000 undergrads participate, which is not a huge number but isn't small either. A student would not feel compelled to join to have a social life, but it would be hard to miss the big loud party going on at the Frat Row which is on the same end of the campus as the "South 40" freshman housing, though across a quad or two and some buildings. The on-campus parties are open to everyone, I believe. </p>

<li> From what I read in the student newspaper, the campus atmosphere is liberal, but definitely not ultra so. It does not seethe with outrage and activism.<br></li>
<li>WashU seems to strive for a balance of male-female enrollment that is close to 50-50. Men have a higher admit rate than women. (I think I got that from There's a good mix of internationals, URM, students-from-every state and all, but there are a lot of kids from the NY, NJ, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, with some from CA thrown in. On my one visit, it struck me as kind of normal America, very Midwest friendly and helpful. I didn't get a "rich" vibe or a preppy vibe or an out-there purple hair vibe. It wasn't a CA version of laid back, but there was a relaxed and easy-going feel about the place. </li>
<li> It is located more on the suburban outskirts of St. Louis, not in the city. You can kind of see the arch from a feeder street, but the city seems not really close. That's because there is a huge park, similar to NYC's Central Park, that borders WashU and separates it from the city of St. Louis. The park has art museums, a zoo, a skating rink, running trails, a lot of leafy places to hang out. Walking distance from the campus is the University
"Loop" area, the main student hangout area off campus. It's the "college town" area, complete with restaurants, movie houses, bars, clubs, vintage clothing shops, a concert venue, intertwined with off-campus student apartment housing.<br></li>

<p>That's all I can think of at the moment.</p>

<p>from st louis but i do not go to wash u. i have many friends and family there so i've spent some time on campus.</p>

<p>great campus. very welcoming, i always get great vibes there. everyone there seems so intellectual--it's fun to be a part of it. freshman dorms where i mostly hang out are somewhat crappy but have a really great community feel. their alcohol policy is awesome because alcohol is allowed in dorms as long as the door's open (go figure).</p>

<p>great town. the loop is SO MUCH FUN. you will never ever ever be bored off campus. i believe it actually just won some award for being one of the best streets in the country for just walking around and hanging out.</p>

<p>you will have a great time if you decide to go there. st louis is a great place and i miss it a lot! i have known very many people to go there and very few have disliked it. all the best!</p>

<p>go bears,

<p>ps--washu is located pretty close to the city, in response to the above post. the park referenced is called forest park and is home to many awesome places as she talked about. the nearest "city" i would say though is clayton, which is far and away better than the actual city of st louis. they're trying to rebuild the city, but for the most part it's just a bunch of old buildings, businesses, and apartments with a few restaurants and bars and of course busch stadium.</p>

<p>Jazzymom gave a good picture of WashU, and I will show you the “bad” side.
Wash U doesn’t give away grades, you will have to work hard and very hard in some courses, but help is everywhere, professors are always available.
Wash U has a mandatory health plan that is being a nightmare for many and alumni are pushing to change that.
Wash U still has old dorms that haven’t come down in schedule, but the situation would be normalized by 2009.
Wash U is changing and modernizing constantly, students got used to have construction site on campus all the time but that scares a little visitors that don’t believe buildings get completed between a year or less.
The Engineering school is having a bad time with arguments against the Dean, in the other hand the Business School is getting more prestige and denotes excellence attracting many good companies to campus in Career Fairs.</p>

<p>WashU's admissions decisions strike many as off-the-wall. It seems more difficult to predict whether or not a student will be accepted at WashU than it is at most schools! So ... if you love the school, be sure to have at least one other school you love, too.</p>

<p>They have a very large publication and postage budget! ;)</p>

<p>Honestly, it's a beautiful place with many happy students. Take a tour, but be sure to wander around a little as well and see if it feels right for you.</p>

<p>The Engineering School is in turmoil and not very good.</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, especially jazzymom for your elaborate post.
To kelsmom, I'm actually admitted already (spring transfer). I loved everything I'd read about it before, so I applied even though it was an extreme reach. I was thrilled beyond belief that I got in! I had OK stats, extremely high financial need, and didn't show much interest (I did present compelling reasons for transfer, but otherwise, I didn't visit or interview. I contacted professors and students but didn't mention any names). I think they sensed that my interest was genuine (WashU truly is a great fit for me), even if I didn't go out of my way to express it.</p>

<p>I'm still waiting to hear from Cornell, Emory, Northwestern, and Rice.</p>

<p>I'll be visiting campus next week. So excited!</p>

<p>Oh, I don't have to worry about the Engineering School not being very good. I'm a liberal arts major.</p>

<p>I could understand the University's need to make itself more well-known so that public perception (which is essential to attracting financial and human resources) could match the strength of its programs, but I do agree that it needs to tone down its marketing a little. I remember receiving something from them weekly when I was in HS.</p>

<p>Also, please note any connections, if any, you have with WashU (relatives who applied and the results, your own experience, campus visit, etc.).</p>

<p>Wash U is a great place to go to school. Have had several family members graduate from there, the most recent one graduated this past spring. She is now in law school. All have loved the school. Challenging academics, lots of things to do, some Greek life if that is what you want, outstanding professors, and a beautiful campus. Wash U is actually right on the edge of St. Louis city and St. Louis county, so there are many urban amenities nearby. Since it is next to Forest Park, it feels pretty suburban even though it is relatively urban. Housing can be an issue, but I wouldn't worry about it, they will make sure you have somewhere to stay. Most of the housing is pretty nice. St. Louis is a reasonably priced city to live in, especially if you are on a tight college budget like so many kids. Once you visit, you will see what a nice place WashU and St. Louis both are.</p>

<p>OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I checked my email just now and found out I GOT INTO RICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE! I was told decisions won't come out until Dec. OMG. If you find out my stats, you'll be truly amazed that I got into both WashU and Rice.</p>

<p>congratulations!!!! that's awesome!</p>

<p>Thanks! I'm probably the ORM with the lowest numbers to get into these schools.</p>

<p>Let me give you a different perspective from someone who knows several wash U graduates.</p>

<p>First, it is a very good school. Most programs are quite solid. The people who went there ALL loved the school. Even the food was considered good.</p>

<p>Despite what I have said above, DON'T Go THERE! Why?</p>

<p>Other than for grad school, Wash U doesn't get the respect from the business community and reputation that its selective admission should garner. I know of several honor graduates (Magna Cum Laude) who couldn't get good jobs. It has the admissioin requirements and price of an ivy but NOT the stellar reputation. If you have top grades and scores, go to an ivy, or ivy like school such as MIT,top Lac or even a good state university,which would be much cheaper.</p>

<p>^^^I think that depends on where you live. Here in the midwest, Wash U commands considerable recognition and respect, definitely more than several of the Ivy League schools that--believe it or not--are not that well known outside of the coastal corridors. Heck, a neighbor of mine, a college educated insurance agency manager, asked me last year "what state" MIT is in!!!</p>

<p>During the 15 years I lived and worked in Massachusetts as a research scientist (in academia, not business), I found no one who was unfamiliar with Wash U. </p>

<p>That said, my son was accepted at Wash U but went elsewhere, because a similar school offered him a huge merit scholarship, and I agree with taxguy that money is an important consideration. Spend it wisely.</p>

<p>I don't want to give the impression that I want to hear only good things about WashU, so thank you for your opinions. I don't think I have to worry about the price tag though... I have an EFC of like 0, so I think I'll be getting a significant amount of aid if WashU is as generous as people claim it to be. </p>

<p>Also, I <em>do</em> think WashU is pretty well-known, at least in the Midwest. Every time I wear my WashU sweatshirt especially in affluent areas, I notice a lot of people avoid looking, which I think is a sign that people consider it "beyond their reach" academically (a friend who wears his Harvard sweatshirt notices the same effect). People definitely react differently when we wear our sweatshirts. When I wear it on campus (I go to a University in the Midwest that's not that highly ranked), people either say good things about it and people they know who go there or avoid looking with this look of dismay. Those who take notice though actually come up to me, name the people they know who go there and how amazing they are and then praise the school. This, to me, suggests how they perceive the people at WashU as being part of a select few. I also notice that the people who don't know about WashU don't know about the University of Chicago either. </p>

<p>WashU has amazing programs though, and I would very much love to go there even if it's not recognized by the public. I also plan to go to either grad or professional school, so I don't think I have to worry about te working world's impression of it right away. I do wonder how "prestigious" WashU will be a decade or two from now, because I think it deserves a lot more prestige, just as Rice does.</p>

<p>FWIW, two of my son's good friends attend Wash U, and they are two of the very finest students I have known.</p>

<p>Another of his best friends attends Rice, and he is also a very good student--val with many other honors. You can't go wrong here if you are going to get decent financial aid.</p>

<p>"I know of several honor graduates (Magna Cum Laude) who couldn't get good jobs."</p>

<p>What?! Why!??! Weird...what major? </p>

<p>"...asked me last year "what state" MIT is in!!!"</p>

<p>Yeah, that is definitely disheartening and I've experienced that.</p>

<p>Me: I think I wanna go to MIT
Friend: Where's that [completely oblivious it is a world-renowned institution] <em>sigh</em></p>

<p>At least my teachers aren't as oblivious, ha.</p>